Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Complete Poems” as Want to Read:
The Complete Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Complete Poems

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,123 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The definitive edition of the Pulitzer Prize-winning collection. “A marvelous prosody, a perfect ear for the beautiful potentials of common speech, something he learned from folk song, but mostly he learned from just listening” (Kenneth Rexroth).
Hardcover, 832 pages
Published January 6th 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 1950)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Complete Poems, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Complete Poems

The Collected Poems by Wallace StevensThe Waking by Theodore Roethke77 Dream Songs by John BerrymanThe Wild Iris by Louise GlückThe Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath
Pulitzer Winners: Poetry
13th out of 100 books — 36 voters
The Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan PoeThe Poetry of Robert Frost by Robert FrostThe Complete Poems by Emily DickinsonThe Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke by Rainer Maria RilkeThe Complete Poems by John Keats
Best Poets
109th out of 275 books — 328 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,092)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jenny (Reading Envy)
May 22, 2010 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, read2010
Can you really write a review for the entire output of one poet? Carl Sandburg represents America of the first half of the 20th century - industry, landscape, society - trust me, it is all in here. I tend to enjoy the smaller poems about weather or relationships, like "The Great Hunt," "Valley Song," "Offering and Rebuff" more than the longer poems about a place or event. Completely worth the time it takes to read through. I wanted to do that before visiting his house in Flat Rock, NC, which isn ...more
May 09, 2007 Katie rated it it was amazing
What do you really need to know? America at its finest.

Valley Song

Your eyes and the valley are memories.
Your eyes fire and the valley a bowl.
It was here a moonrise crept over the timberline.
It was here we turned the coffee cups upside down.
And your eyes and the moon swept the valley.

I will see you again to-morrow.
I will see you again in a million years.
I will never know your dark eyes again.
These are three ghosts I keep.
These are three sumach-red dogs I run with.

All of it wraps and knots to a ri
Sep 02, 2015 Rand marked it as to-read
Shelves: poetry, anthology
Richard Epstein
Nov 21, 2013 Richard Epstein rated it did not like it
832 pages of Sandburg! Can you imagine anything worse? What? The Collected Poems of Southey runs to 2288 pages? Oh. Well, then, I concede that less of bad thing is better than more of a bad thing.
Aug 01, 2007 Aaron rated it it was amazing
The only poet I really like. Focuses on the character and lives of the American people and the nation's physical beauty.

My favorite:

Carl Sandburg (1878–1967). Chicago Poems. 1916.

137. I Am the People, the Mob

I AM the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world’s food and clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And
Sep 06, 2015 Zari added it
Shelves: poem, classic, literature
There is a wolf in me … fangs pointed for tearing gashes … a red tongue for raw meat … and the hot lapping of blood—I keep this wolf because the wilderness gave it to me and the wilderness will not let it go.

There is a fox in me … a silver-gray fox … I sniff and guess … I pick things out of the wind and air … I nose in the dark night and take sleepers and eat them and hide the feathers … I circle and loop and double-cross.

There is a hog in me … a snout and a belly … a machinery for eating and gr
Dec 14, 2014 Keith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: partial-read
Sandburg is the child of Whitman. Topically and formally, Sandburg mimics the poems of Walt Whitman. In all but the Whitman’s mystic swirlings – and prodigious lengths – Sandburg is his progeny.

Sandburg, though, is not his equal. There is a charm and diversity, an empathy and a boldness that Whitman has, but Sandburg lacks. And Whitman was more diverse than his well-known Leaves of Grass prophecies.

Sandburg wrote some memorable poems in including the much-anthologized Chicago and Fog. The first
Mike Hammer
some magical little wordplay and visuals in here, but a little to nonlinear and ethereal for me, i did not read most of this
Sep 08, 2010 Peggy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
My all-time favorite poet. My copy of this book is old and worn with pages turned down and passages underlined all over the place, but that's just the way I like it. I think it's his midwestern voice that appeals so much to me.
Aug 31, 2012 Julie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I LOVE HIS POEMS!! Very down to earth. Some are pretty funny. I like the way his minds thinks. If you enjoy poetry, you will enjoy this.
May 31, 2013 Yusra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Carl Sandburg is a favorite contemporary poet. I wish this book was in two volumes instead of one because it is huge.
Aug 08, 2008 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I enjoyed the many years of poetry this book offered. It was a long book, so settle down to read this one.
Oct 13, 2012 Nick rated it really liked it
Great. Everything you'd want out of the poet of the people.
Oct 26, 2012 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Didn't finish it but it's a book to keep.
Oct 26, 2008 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, I read parts. He's a beautiful writer.
Adam Jay
Dec 02, 2010 Adam Jay rated it really liked it
working class hero
May 16, 2011 Ellen is currently reading it
justin bryan gorny
justin bryan gorny rated it it was amazing
May 26, 2016
Dan Harvey
Dan Harvey rated it liked it
May 25, 2016
Derek Carter
Derek Carter marked it as to-read
May 23, 2016
Max Conroy
Max Conroy marked it as to-read
May 22, 2016
Eric rated it really liked it
May 21, 2016
Dossett Swift
Dossett Swift rated it it was amazing
May 21, 2016
Jan Keirns
Jan Keirns rated it it was amazing
May 20, 2016
Yogesh rated it it was amazing
May 18, 2016
virginia cregar
virginia cregar rated it really liked it
May 18, 2016
Tamra rated it really liked it
May 17, 2016
Rabia Khalid
Rabia Khalid marked it as to-read
May 16, 2016
Shana.Jackson90yahoo.Com marked it as to-read
May 15, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 69 70 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Selected Poems
  • John Brown's Body
  • New Hampshire
  • Selected Poems
  • Love Songs
  • North and South
  • Selected Poems
  • Collected Poems
  • Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems
  • Complete Poems
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Poems and Other Writings
  • The Waking: Poems: 1933 - 1953
  • Collected Poems, 1937-1971
  • New and Collected Poems: 1931-2001
  • Black Zodiac
  • The Age of Anxiety: A Baroque Eclogue
  • The Carrier of Ladders
  • New and Collected Poems
Carl August Sandburg was an American writer and editor, best known for his poetry. He won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for his poetry and another for a biography of Abraham Lincoln. H. L. Mencken called Carl Sandburg "indubitably an American in every pulse-beat".

For more info see
More about Carl Sandburg...

Share This Book

“Nothing happens unless first a dream.” 146 likes
“Give me hunger,
O you gods that sit and give
The world its orders.
Give me hunger, pain and want,
Shut me out with shame and failure
From your doors of gold and fame,
Give me your shabbiest, weariest hunger!

But leave me a little love,
A voice to speak to me in the day end,
A hand to touch me in the dark room
Breaking the long loneliness.”
More quotes…